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Friday 27 April 2018

Saints' goal struggles continue in draw with battling Brighton side

Southampton 1 Brighton 1

Southampton’s Jack Stephens (centre left) celebrates scoring against Brighton last night
Southampton’s Jack Stephens (centre left) celebrates scoring against Brighton last night

Southampton recovered from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with Brighton but wasted the chance to ignite their season as their struggles continued in the final third.

They had recently shown signs of improvement and secured some encouraging results, but after under-pressure manager Mauricio Pellegrino started new £19.2million striker Guido Carrillo on the bench, they remain at risk of relegation and in 18th place.

Brighton represented beatable opposition even after Glenn Murray had given them the lead, but following Jack Stephens scoring for the second game in succession and despite their dominance, the winning goal Southampton so desperately needed did not arrive.

The visitors had already threatened through Jose Izquierdo and Davy Propper when, in the 14th minute, a clumsy challenge by Wesley Hoedt on Solly March brought the winger down in the area and they were awarded a penalty.

Murray routinely stepped up and finished into the bottom right corner while Alex McCarthy dived towards the left.

Southampton upped their game after the break and Stephens had already headed wide from a promising position when, in the 64th minute, a foul by March on Boufal gave the hosts a left-wing free-kick.

After James Ward-Prowse curled a low cross into the penalty area, similarly to during Saturday's 1-0 defeat of Watford, from close range Stephens sent the loose ball through the crowded penalty area and towards goal, beyond Ryan and into the back of the net.

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